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Odds Say There ISN’T a QB Battle Happening at Arizona Cardinals Camp

Josh Rosen at UCLA
Is there any chance former UCLA star Josh Rosen can beat out Sam Bradford for the starting job in Week 1 for Arizona? Photo by Eric Chan [CC License]
  • The Arizona Cardinals signed Sam Bradford to a two-year $40 million contract on March 19
  • The Cardinals also drafted UCLA star QB Josh Rosen 10th-overall in the 2018 NFL Draft
  • Is there any chance Rosen starts Week 1 for the Cards?

Cardinals fans were in disbelief when news broke that Arizona signed Sam Bradford to a two-year $40 million contract to replace Carson Palmer.

The former first-overall pick has shown the talent to merit the contract. However, has not shown the ability to stay healthy. Bradford hasn’t played a full 16-game schedule since 2012, when he was with the Rams.

Then in 2018 NFL Draft, the Cardinals used the tenth-overall pick to draft Josh Rosen. Though he was the fourth QB off the board, there are many scouts who believe Rosen has the highest ceiling of the class.

As we prepare to see the Cardinals in their first preseason game on Saturday (against the Chargers), the online sports betting site Bookmaker has released odds on who will start at QB come Week 1 for Arizona.

Odds to Start at QB for Arizona in Week 1

Player Odds at Bookmaker
Sam Bradford -1500
Josh Rosen +700

No surprise here.

First-year head coach Steve Wilks has said publicly that Sam Bradford is the starter. Rosen is an NFL rookie, learning his first NFL offense, and the adjustment is difficult.

Sam Bradford has been working with Cardinals staff all summer to formulate a plan to keep his knee healthy for the whole season. The goal, said Wilks, is to take every precautionary measure to keep Bradford healthy and starting all 16 games.

When healthy, Bradford is one of the top passers in the game. His 2016 season exemplified this point. Bradford set the Vikings franchise record for completions with 395, and broke the NFL record for completion percentage in a season, completing 71.6% of his passes – Drew Brees broke this record last season.

However, Bradford played in only two games last year due to lingering knee issues. He has torn his ACL twice in the same knee, and has a knee condition now that is known to be degenerative.

And keeping Bradford upright may prove more difficult for the Cardinals, as starting center AQ Shipley just suffered a season-ending torn ACL.

Sam Bradford Stats

Year Team Games Started Completion % Passing Yds Passing TDs INTs
2015 PHI 14 65% 3,725 19 14
2016 MIN 15 71.6% 3,877 20 5
2017 MIN 2 74.4% 382 3 0

Betting Advice on Cardinals’ Week 1 Starter

If Bradford stays healthy throughout the preseason then he will be the week 1 starter.

But that’s a big “if”. A big enough “if” that I would not be willing to place any money on Bradford at -1500. An “if” so big that I’d take the +700 with Rosen.

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From hockey to football, to basketball, baseball, soccer, and rugby, Cory is on top of it all. He grew up playing sports, has worked around them ever since (including as a talent scout), and is one of SBD's most experienced bettors.